By Maggie DeWitte, Executive Director Pulse Life Advocates
• Chuck Hurley The Family Leader – filed an amici brief
• Sam Langholz Assistant Attorney General
• Chris Schandevel Legal Counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom – filed an amici brief
• Alan Ostergren Chief Counsel The Kirkwood Institute – filed an amici brief (wasn’t at oral arguments; was at the briefing at the capitol after).
Today we heard oral arguments on the 24-hour bill. This bill was signed into law by Governor Reynolds in the 2020 legislative session. Before Governor Reynolds could even sign the bill into law, Planned Parenthood filed lawsuit against the bill, and filed an injunction so the bill could never be enacted or enforced. Planned Parenthood was successful in their injunction. This case made its way through the court system, finally landing in the Iowa Supreme Court, where we heard oral arguments regarding this case today.
The Planned Parenthood lawsuit noted two key issues:
1) that a 24-hour waiting period was unconstitutional and
2) that it was a violation of the single subject process. The 24-hour bill was an amendment that was added to another bill, and Planned Parenthood argued that that was a violation. Attorney Langholz refuted that argument well today during oral arguments.
In addition to the 24-hour case, the 2018 ruling that created a so-called fundamental right to abortion in our Iowa constitution was presented and attorney Langholz stated it should be overturned. We are hopeful and optimistic that this ruling will go in our favor and expect to get the ruling on this case sometime before June 30.
If the ruling goes in our favor, then the 24-hour bill would need to go to trial. That process could take up to another year depending on how things are scheduled. Additionally, we would hope that the 2018 ruling would be reversed. This was a good day and a good start in helping us get to the point where we can finally make common sense regulations regarding abortion in our state to safeguard women and families. And then ultimately eliminate abortion in our state altogether!
We will continue our efforts to pass the Protect Life Amendment regardless of the court’s ruling this summer. We were successful in getting the PLA passed last legislative session. It must be passed in one more legislative session (2023) and then go before the vote of the people. We will continue to diligently work to get the Protect Life Amendment passed as we know that is the surest and best path forward to return our Iowa Constitution back to what is was before the 2018 ruling and put the role of creating law back into the hands of our duly elected legislators.